It is no surprise, then, to find that Muslims see the secularism of westerners and western Christians in particular, not as a promise of a better and more enlightened life, but as a threat to their religion and culture. And our response has often been a flight from faith driven by the specious "wisdom" that religion kills. Hence a commemorative celebration at Ground Zero scrubbed clean of any religious voices and—as a result—robbed of any capacity to comprehend what happened on that day.
The events of 9/11 can be and must read in a very different fashion: If we are to face the future with wisdom, understanding, and courage, then the best way for those of us who are not "soldiers and cops" to respond is to live more authentically Christian lives. We can no longer hide behind first responders; the war has come to our streets. And if we expect to weather that war, then—with solemn resolve—we need to reclaim our faith, allowing it to shape the way in which we see the world and the way in which we live in it. If we fail to address that task, then the confusion and failure of nerve that follows will be of our own making.
And it will be clear at last, the war is within.